Q&A - June 2, 2017

Annual festivals and celebrations are vital traditions to communities like Okmulgee, which is why it was such big news when the renowned Pecan Festival returned to downtown Okmulgee last summer after a decade-long hiatus.

Q:What will this year’s Pecan Festival offer?

The Okmulgee Pecan Festival kicks off Thursday, June 8, and continues through Saturday, June 10, around the Creek Council House Square. Some of the events from last year’s festival will return as well a few new fun additions. Arts and crafts vendors from across the region will be selling their unique one-of-kind creations during the three-day festival as well as food vendors offering up tasty treats to satisfy any craving. Speaking of food, the Ribs & Roll BBQ Championship is returning to the Pecan Festival. The Kansas City Barbeque Society sanctions the two-day competition, which starts Friday, June 9. Teams compete in four mouth-watering categories including ribs, pork, brisket and chicken. And you can’t have a Pecan Festival without pecans. The Swinging from the “Tree Tops” Pecan Showdown is Saturday, June 11. Home cooks, both young and seasoned, can enter their favorite pecan dessert and recipe in hopes of taking home first, second or third place prizes, and more importantly, bragging rights. Awards will be given out in both adult and junior divisions. If you feel like you need to work off some of that delicious grub, there’s the Splash & Dash 5K Fun Run/Walk on Saturday, June 10 at 8 a.m., starting at the Okmulgee YMCA and finishing at the Orpheum Theatre in downtown Okmulgee. There’s even fun for your four-legged friends. The Okmulgee Rotary Club is sponsoring the Pet Parade. There are 13 categories available to enter including exceptional ears; incredible bulk; best pet and owner look-a-like; best costume; most unusual; most marvelous manners; just to name a few. It’s sure to be the cutest competition held this year at Pecan Festival. For those who like to express their creativity through art, there’s the 6x6 Canvas Art Show June 9 and 10. Kids, teens and adults can purchase a 6x6 canvas from Okmulgee Main Street for $6. Artists can draw, paint, design or decorate in any manner as long as they stick to the theme— pecans. The 6x6 art show entries will be displayed and sold with proceeds benefitting the Okmulgee Main Street Storefront Restoration Grant Program. Bringing the Pecan Festival back has been a true community undertaking with involvement from people and organizations from every corner of Okmulgee. If you want to learn more about any of these fun activities or would like to register to participate, visit the Okmulgee Chamber of Commerce website at okmulgeechamber.org. In the meantime, keep comments and questions coming to osuit-president@okstate.edu.